Retail Display Tips – How To Maximise Impact With Retail Graphics

by Andy Wilson
on 10th November 2021

Over the past decade, the world of retail has been forever changed by the advent of the internet, and particularly e-commerce and online shopping. Even cornerstone, heritage brands are moving online, and physical retail spaces are having to adapt – fast – to changing consumer expectations. This has big implications for how retailers present their in-store experiences, particularly retail displays. 

PressOn have been printing and installing these kinds of installations for some of the world’s biggest brands for decades, so we’ve decided to share some of our retail display tips – how to make an impact, and a few practical things you may not have considered about the print and installation of graphics. 

What makes a great retail display?

This is probably the ‘golden question’. Fundamentally, a great retail display is one that attracts customers, and entices them into purchasing the product or service that’s the subject of the display. This is naturally a bit reductive, and will vary depending on the specific goals of the display, but in the most basic sense it’s about capturing customers’ attention and interest. 

A great retail display can encourage shoppers to purchase more items, or products they hadn’t considered; it can increase brand awareness, and loyalty; and, crucially, it can increase customer engagement and transform impressions of a brand or service. 

To accomplish all of this, a few things are important. Colours, layouts, messaging, product selection – all of these have a role to play in how effective a retail display is. When it comes to printed media and graphics in particular, there are a handful of things you should consider:

Tip 1 – Impactful visual design

fashion retold 2019 - printed graphics

Visuals are a pretty important part of retail display advertising. It’s in the name, after all. Sight and visual perception is a crucial part of marketing, with Dr. L.D. Rosenblum, Dr. Harold Stolovitch and Dr. Erica Keeps, proposing a breakdown of how perception is distributed across our senses as follows:

83.0% – Sight

11.0% – Hearing

03.5% – Smell

01.5% – Touch

01.0% – Taste

Clearly, the way a retail display looks is the most important determining factor in how well it’s received. With this in mind, impactful visual design is essential, and effective use of printed media can make all of the difference – you can have wonderful product packaging, great use of space, and effective messaging, but without great printed media a retail display will be decidedly lacklustre. 

With this in mind, take care to make print a fundamental part of your retail display, and make good use of things like colour theory and other visual merchandising techniques. For instance, did you know that certain colours are associated with certain feelings and impressions? Use this to your advantage, and study other visual marketing principles to ensure a set of graphics that not only conform to your brand and messaging guidelines, but that are curated to attract attention. 

Tip 2 – Great quality printing

Great designs are one thing, but without the highest quality printed media, these won’t necessarily translate. The materials used, the size, the finish, and the effectiveness of the installation all impact how good the finished display will look, so enlisting the services of a competent and experienced large format print supplier is essential. 

Depending on the location and intended duration of the retail display, different substrates (the material that gets printed onto) may be required. This is particularly true if the display is going to be situated in an area of high foot traffic, such as in the concourse of a mall or in a busy flagship store. A good print supplier will be able to provide the right materials for the job, saving you costly and time consuming reprints if the wrong substrates are used and prints become damaged or worn. 

Consistency is also key, particularly for luxury or high end brands – or if numerous prints are needed across one or multiple retail displays. Ensuring precision when it comes to colouring is challenging across different substrates, so an experienced print supplier is a must. 

Tip 3 – Immersive designs

In the research noted above, while sight might be the main sense we use to perceive the world around us, note that it isn’t exclusive – hearing and smell come next in line, and this points to a significant consideration for retailers: immersive spaces. With digital technology and the internet making it easier than ever for consumers to do their shopping without the hassle of leaving their homes, physical retail spaces need to offer more than just convenience to shoppers. 

This is where immersive designs come into play. By bringing other sensory experiences, and a more holistic experience to shoppers, it’s easier to compel them to visit your premises. This can include things like the opportunity to touch, try, smell, or taste your products – as well as other more unique creative solutions, such as 

Printed graphics play a big part in immersive retail display design, tying other elements together and creating a consistent visual space. Once attention has been caught, graphics are the glue that holds the immersive retail space together, complementing other aspects of the display by indicating what to do with physical elements, describing the products or experience, or even creating entire backdrops which flow into physical 3D display elements. 


A lot goes into a great retail display, but the three factors above are particularly important. Great visuals and immersive design principles, tied together with effective and high quality printed graphics can turn any retail environment into an enriching experience for shoppers, that will do more than just promote your products – it will transform perception of your brand, and encourage loyalty and repeat business. 

If you’d like to know more about printed retail display graphics, feel free to get in touch with our expert project managers – they’ll be happy to discuss your project with you!

Request a callback

Looking for more advice or a quote?

Enter your phone number and we'll give you a call back.

Prefer to email? Send your enquiry to

Written by
Andy Wilson Managing Director